Why are hamstring stretches not classified under leg stretches? Well, I felt that it should be given more priority because not many people are aware of the importance of stretching their hamstrings.
This lack of awareness has caused hamstring related injuries to be one of the highest today. This muscle is quite susceptible to injuries. The reason is, it is located at the back of your thigh, just beneath your skin.
The muscle is therefore very exposed and can be injured from just a kick, a fall or even minor exertion. Therefore, you need to be even more careful to take time to warm up and stretch before starting your workout.
There are quite a few hamstring stretches that can effectively hit the spot! I love giving you options, so try the ones that you love doing the most, or rotate them around so you won't get bored of trying the same stretches over and over again.
The stretches that I will talk about are:
Be sure to keep your legs straight and do not bend your knees during this workout. If you have trouble holding the stretch for 5 seconds, you have very tense muscles. You should do such stretches regularly everyday to help loosen the muscles.
Tense muscles lead to pain and discomfort, limited range of movements and can increase possibility of getting more injuries when you exercise in the future.
Therefore, if you discover that you have hamstring muscles on one leg that are more tensed, you can continue doing this stretch for that particular leg to relieve it.
Again, do your best not to bend your knees during the stretch itself.
Similarly to the double straight leg stretch discussed above, if you have problems holding the stretch, then you need to devote ten minutes every day to perform some stretching exercise.
It will be hard for you at first (touching your knees might already hurt, in severe cases) but your flexibility will definitely improve.
In the first place, if you are unable to lift your legs such that it forms a 90 degree angle with the floor, it means that you do more of the single and double straight leg stretch. Not being able to raise your legs to a 90 degree angle is, quite bad.
But do not worry. The moment you get the hang of it, you will start to see some marked improvements in your flexibility. Who knows you will have the flexibility of a ballet dancer in a few months, if you stretch regularly, of course.
Once you are able to comfortably do this stretch for 5 seconds or more, give yourself a pat on the back! It means that your flexibility is great!
Flexibility training is one of the most neglected aspects of physical training. Everyone is obsessed with weight loss, with running and aerobics, building stronger and bigger muscles, that they overlook the most common cause of injuries - tensed muscles.
It might seem rather pointless especially when you are first starting out. But you don't appreciate almost anything until you have lost, or almost lost it. So do not take your flexibility for granted.
Injuries can cripple you for days, and in severe cases, even weeks! Don't let that happen to you. Start with hamstring stretches, to help one of the most neglected muscles in our entire body when it comes to stretching!
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